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Changes in background electroencephalography and regional cerebral glucose metabolism in focal epilepsy patients after 1-month administration of levetiracetam

Authors Kim SH, Lim SC, Kim W, Kwon O, Kim CM, Lee J, Shon Y

Received 28 October 2014

Accepted for publication 11 December 2014

Published 27 January 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 215—223


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Seong Hoon Kim,1,* Sung-Chul Lim,1,2,* Woojun Kim,1,2 Oh-hun Kwon,3 Chan Mi Kim,3 Jong-Min Lee,3 Young-Min Shon1,2

1Department of Neurology, 2Catholic Neuroscience Institute, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: The antiseizure efficacy and safety of levetiracetam (LEV) is well documented; however, few clinical studies have investigated the predictability of patient responsiveness to LEV, especially when the drug is first administered. The aim of this study was to ascertain the utility of clinical, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging parameters for assessing the early response to LEV treatment in focal epilepsy patients. Twelve confirmed focal epilepsy patients were included who had never taken LEV before. At baseline and 1 month after LEV administration, all subjects underwent 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and electroencephalography (EEG), and completed the Quality of Life in Epilepsy questionnaire (QOLIE-31). Participants were divided by drug response: good versus poor. The good response group (seven subjects) was defined by a >50% decrease in seizure frequency compared to baseline (3 months before LEV intake). The other five participants with a <50% decrease in seizure frequency were placed into the poor response group. We compared the differential changes in brain glucose metabolism on FDG-PET, power spectrum on the EEG, and QOLIE-31 results between the two groups after a 1-month LEV trial. In the good response group, it was possible to identify brain regions with increased glucose metabolism, including the bilateral caudate nuclei and both frontal and left parietal regions (uncorrected P<0.005). In the poor response group, FDG-PET did not reveal any areas with significantly increased glucose metabolism. In the good response group, spectral EEG analysis revealed decreased delta power (1–3 Hz, P<0.05) in the parietal region and increased beta1 power (13–19 Hz, P<0.05) in the frontal region, whereas no significant changes were observed in the poor response group. There were no significant changes on the QOLIE-31 in either group after a 1-month LEV trial. Our results suggest that LEV-induced glucose metabolism and EEG spectral changes may be indicative of initial drug responsiveness as early as 1 month following treatment initiation. These parameters may be useful prognostic markers of antiseizure effects caused by LEV medication or may indicate an epiphenomenon of LEV-induced changes in glucose metabolism and EEG frequency. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted.

Keywords: FDG-PET, responsiveness, background EEG, power spectral change

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